Los Angeles (AFP) – Wales captain Gareth Bale has signed a 12-month contract with Los Angeles FC that features options through 2024, the Major League Soccer squad announced Monday.
Bale confirmed his plans on social media over the weekend after his departure from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
“I am extremely excited for this move to LAFC,” Bale said.
“This is the right place for me and my family and the right time in my career and I cannot wait to get started working with the team and getting ready to win more trophies in Los Angeles.”
The 32-year-old forward, a five-time UEFA Champions League winner, spent nine years with Real Madrid.
“Gareth is one of the most dynamic and exciting players of his generation,” LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington said. “Adding a player who brings his talent and experience at the highest levels is an incredible opportunity to improve our club.
“It’s clear that Gareth is highly motivated to continue to win trophies and we are elated that he has made the choice to join LAFC and help lead us in our ultimate goal of winning championships.”
Bale has made 105 appearances for Wales since 2006, scoring 28 goals and contributing 22 assists. He sparked Wales into this year’s Qatar World Cup, their first appearance in 64 years.
The Cardiff native made his professional debut at age 16 in 2006 for Southampton in the English Championship before joining Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, scoring 42 goals in 146 appearances through 2013, when he joined Real Madrid.
With the La Liga club, Bale scored 106 goals and assisted on 67 others in 258 appearances as Real Madrid made a stunning trophy haul, collecting hardware 19 times.
“There are simply not many players in the world who can have an impact on a match like Gareth Bale,” LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said. “He can be dangerous in so many different ways and we expect him to complement what we believe is already a strong team from the moment he arrives.
“His knowledge of the game and experience in playing in big games will be invaluable for our club.”
Bale is expected to attend an LAFC home match on Wednesday against Dallas and a likely debut match would be the Black and Gold’s July 8 home game against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the local derby.
The Welshman joins an LAFC club that tops the league with 33 points and a 10-3-3 record to set the pace in the Western Conference by four points over Real Salt Lake.
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